You are here

Understanding Foucault

Understanding Foucault
A Critical Introduction

Second Edition

June 2012 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Michel Foucault is now regarded as one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. He is known for his sensibility of critique and his commitment to movements for social change. His analysis of the ways our notions of truth, meaning, knowledge and reason are shaped by historical forces continues to influence thinkers around the world.

Understanding Foucault offers a comprehensive introduction to Foucault's work. The authors examine Foucault's thinking in the context of the philosophies he engaged with during his career, and the events he participated in, including the student protests of 1968. A unique feature of the book is its consideration of recently published lectures and minor works, and the authors show how these illuminate and extend our understanding of Foucault's major books.

Understanding Foucault provides an accessible entrée to the world of this extraordinary and challenging philosopher.

Questions of Method
Power and Knowledge
Liberalism and Neo-Liberalism
Subjectivity and Technologies of the Self
Critique and Ethics

An outstandingly good introduction to Foucault's work: lucid, measured, well organised, and covering this complex and in many ways heterogeneous body of work with remarkable thoroughness and ease.

Professor John Frow
University of Melbourne

A great recommendation for understanding.

Mrs Candice Mtwazi
Kent Law School, University of Kent
August 24, 2016

This book is a great introductory text to students and those new to Foucault. Where it importantly differs from other introductory texts is that it draws from (and provides references to) a different set of sources - a series of lectures that Foucault gave from 1973-83. It thus enriches the concepts such as power/knowledge, governmentality and discipline.

Miss Amanda Machin
Karl Mannheim chair for cultural studies, Zeppelin University
March 17, 2015

A good book for the more able students to use.

Ms Juliet Radford Hayes
Health and Social Care, Coventry University College
November 21, 2014

This is a clear and understandable book, starting with a very helpful glossary of theoretical terms.

This book provides an accessible introduction to Foucault's major work exploring power and control, governmentality and , ethics which are crucial for students to understand.

Miss Tracy Ramsey
Social Work Department, Liverpool Hope University
May 13, 2014

A good book that will relate the topic to the sociological concepts that Foucault puts forward.

Ms Allison Savory
Department of Social Sciences, Bucks New University
March 18, 2014

Great book

Dr Berndt Clavier
Interdiscipline , Malmo University
February 21, 2014

An excellent and useful text which I have recommended for my second and third years.

Mr Paul Muff
Division of Social Sciences and Criminal Justice, University of Bradford
October 30, 2013

This is a good starting point for students who may want to use the ideas of Foucault in their research work. It is well written and easily accessible breaking down the component philosophical constructs that can be difficult to understand. It can offer students the basic knowledge that they can build on.

Ms Jo Cruywagen
Department of Psychology, Roehampton University
October 1, 2013

A good primer for introducing studnets to key aspects of Foucault's corpus of conecpts

Dr Andrzej Zieleniec
Sociology , Keele University
June 27, 2013